Rebels start road trip with a win

SASKATOON — The Red Deer Rebels raced out to a 3-0 lead, then took their foot off the gas. In the end, however, the Rebels pulled out a 4-2 Western Hockey League win over the Saskatoon Blades before 3,767 fans at Credit Union Centre to open their four-game East Division road trip on a positive note. “Any time you can start off a trip with a win it’s huge,” said GM/head coach Brent Sutter.

SASKATOON — The Red Deer Rebels raced out to a 3-0 lead, then took their foot off the gas.

In the end, however, the Rebels pulled out a 4-2 Western Hockey League win over the Saskatoon Blades before 3,767 fans at Credit Union Centre to open their four-game East Division road trip on a positive note.

“Any time you can start off a trip with a win it’s huge,” said GM/head coach Brent Sutter.

Conner Bleackley scored late in the first period and added a power-play marker at 3:22 of the second frame, and 16-year-old rookie forward Grayson Pawlenchuk — with his fourth of the season — gave the Rebels a three-goal cushion a mere 36 seconds after Bleackley’s third of the campaign.

But David Nemecek replied for the Blades on a late second-period man advantage and when Red Deer native Colin Valcourt connected 13 minutes into the third period the hosts were within a single goal.

“We got a little complacent in our game and got away from our details and allowed them (Blades) to get momentum,” said Sutter. “We also took a five-minute major in the second period (a checking-to-the-head infraction to defenceman Devan Fafard) that didn’t help and allowed them to stay in the game.

“But we managed to get through it. All in all, it was a big win and a good win. We had five 16-year-olds dressed tonight and outside of (back-up goaltender Taz) Burman they all played and played well.”

With 20-year-old winger Lukas Sutter out of action with an upper-body injury suffered in Saturday’s 4-1 loss at Calgary and veteran forward Cory Millette not on the road trip for undisclosed reasons, the Rebels called up 16-year-old forward Meyer Nell from the midget AAA Notre Dame Argos, a move that may be permanent.

“We’ll go through the week and see how he does, but that (keeping Nell on the roster for the rest of the season) is the initial thought,” said Sutter.

Nell was joined up front by fellow 16-year-olds Pawlenchuk, Adam Musil, who picked up an assist, and converted defenceman Austin Shmoorkoff.

Dominik Volek potted a last-minute, empty-net goal for Red Deer, which improved to 4-1 and will take on the Raiders tonight in Prince Albert.

“All road trips get tougher as they go along,” said Sutter, whose squad goes up against the Moose Jaw Warriors Friday and closes out the jaunt with a Saturday date with the Brandon Wheat Kings.

“Tomorrow night (tonight) we’re playing a team we beat 4-0 in the playoffs last spring. They’re going to be ready to play and we have to make sure we’re ready,” said Sutter. “We have 10 new faces in our lineup so they have to respond the right way.”

Patrik Bartosak turned aside 30 shots to earn his third win of the season. Blades netminder Alex Moodie made 31 saves.

l Lukas Sutter is listed as week-to-week with his upper-body injury.

“We’ll see how his rehab goes but he’ll be out for awhile,” said Brent Sutter.

Rebels

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Community art project will thank front line workers

Red Deerians are painting hearts to say thank you to frontline workers.… Continue reading

Vaping persists amongst Canadian youth

New survey into vaping habits of youth

UPDATED: Red Deer has nine active COVID-19 cases

Number of cases increased by 107 Friday

Man sentenced to 7 years for gas-and-dash death of Alberta gas station owner

Ki Yun Jo was killed after Mitchell Sydlowski sped off in a stolen cube van without paying for $198 of fuel

Former prime minister John Turner dead at 91

TORONTO — Former prime minister John Turner, whose odyssey from a “Liberal… Continue reading

Hay’s Daze: Happy to be left out of the picture

Talk about being out of the loop. Head in the sand. Uninformed,… Continue reading

O’Toole, Blanchet both test positive for COVID-19 Friday, remain in isolation

OTTAWA — Conservative leader Erin O’Toole has tested positive for COVID-19. O’Toole… Continue reading

COVID-19 task force worries Trump’s rush to approve vaccine will spook Canadians

OTTAWA — Members of the federal government’s COVID-19 vaccine task force are… Continue reading

Nearly 20 per cent of COVID-19 infections among health-care workers by late July

VANCOUVER — Health care workers in Canada made up about 20 per… Continue reading

Hurricane Teddy remains on track for Atlantic Canada, expected as tropical storm

HALIFAX — Hurricane Teddy remains on track to pass through wide areas… Continue reading

Trump to Senate: Vote ‘without delay’ on his high court pick

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump on Saturday urged the Republican-run Senate to… Continue reading

Vancouver Whitecaps fighting for playoff position on U.S. road trip

Vancouver Whitecaps fighting for playoff position on U.S. road trip

Most Read